Smartphones have changed the way people communicate. They let you quickly stay in touch through calling, texting, emailing, or social networking tools. But a smartphone is also much more than a communication device. There are apps that help you manage your life, learn about the world around you, or simply keep you entertained. It’s easy to see why users are so impressed with their new tech, but can it go too far? How do you know if you’ve become addicted to your smartphone? Here are some signs to look out for from DCH Toyota of Simi Valley.

It’s always with you

One of the first steps to spotting an addiction is assessing how often you use your smartphone and how you feel when it’s not glued to your hand or resting in your pocket. Do you get nervous when your smartphone is out of sight or sitting more than an arm’s length away? Can you leave your phone in another room while you sleep, take a shower, or get dressed? You have voicemail for a reason, and it’s okay to occasionally be unreachable.

You can’t wait without it

Without a doubt, a smartphone makes it easier to pass the time while waiting. You can play a game, read a book, check your email, or even catch up on some work. That’s great for sitting in a doctor’s waiting room, but it shouldn’t become a need for the brief moments of downtime that crop up during your day. If you can’t wait two minutes for a cashier to ring up your groceries without pulling out your smartphone, you might have an addiction.

It tracks your every move

Smartphone apps often help you become more productive. You can monitor your diet and exercise, pay your bills and create virtual to-do lists. However, it’s easy to take this too far. You might have an addiction if you feel like you can’t eat, sleep, exercise, or go to the bathroom without logging it on your smartphone. (Yes, there are apps for all of that!)

You call or text people in the same house

It’s easy to see how smartphones can help families stay in touch. But do you really need to text your kids when it’s time to come downstairs for dinner? Your family plan might make it free to call and text within your immediate family, but that doesn’t mean you need a fancy device to communicate when you are actually in the same house.

You choose your phone over live company

A smartphone can be great company when you’re bored and have some time on your own, but is it really better company than your actual friends? Twiddling with your smartphone while attempting to simultaneously carry on a face-to-face conversation is not multitasking. It’s just plain rude. If you find yourself frequently playing with your phone during social gatherings, there’s a pretty good chance that you may have a problem.

If you think you may be addicted to your smartphone, try taking a break from it. Put down the phone and give living, breathing people a chance. You will soon see that the world can be a fascinating place, even without augmented reality.